The Championship Players Looking to Bridge the Wage Gap
The 2019/20 English Championship season could be the closest ever in terms of promotion to the Premier League. are leading the table with just a point difference with Leeds and 6 points difference with Fulham at third.
As round 36 came to its conclusion on 2nd of March, Slaven Bilic’s West Bromwich Albion are leading the table with just a point difference with Leeds and 6 points difference with Fulham at third.
With only 9 matches remaining this season, in terms of both automatic promotion places and the four playoff slots, it’s a very open race this year and for all concerned, there are huge incentives attached to joining English football’s elite division.
The Big League
Every player wants to test their abilities on the highest stage and everyone within those promotion hopefuls will be desperate for a chance to play in the Premier League. The biggest clubs seem reluctant to look down the divisions for new signings so, for the best players in the Championship, their most likely route into the EPL is with their current clubs.
Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has been there before. Formerly with Newcastle United, the Serbian striker joined Fulham on loan in 2018 but his impressive scoring record wasn’t enough to keep the Cottagers in the top flight. Now with Fulham on a permanent deal, Mitrovic is currently the Championship’s leading goal scorer with 23 strikes in 2019/20.
Brentford who are still in the promotion race have Ollie Watkins in second slot in the leading scorers list. At 24, Watkins will be hoping that Premier League clubs are scouting him but he may have to rely on the Bees earning promotion if he is to prove himself in the top division.
Goals win games and other prolific players hoping for a place in the Premier League next season include Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen, Lewis Grabban of Nottingham Forest and Bristol City’s much-travelled Bermudan international Nakhi Wells.
It’s not all about goals and, if Premier League scouts are dropping down a division, they may also be running the rule over influential players in other areas of the pitch. The Fulham pair of Alfie Mawson and Tom Cairney have done much to keep their team in the playoff places while second placed Leeds United have been reliant on the assists provided by winger Helder Costa.
Between the posts, Jack Butland is a man on the comeback trail. His Stoke City side have no chance of promotion this year but England international Butland will be hoping that his own improved performances will trigger a transfer back into the top flight.
While the chance to showcase your talent on the highest stage is an added incentive, there is another, obvious reason why Championship players are eager to make the step up. Let’s be honest here, there is a gulf in wages between the two divisions and the opportunity to earn more money has to be a driver for all individuals.
So, Spurs' signing of Leeds United’s Jack Clarke in the summer of 2019 is just one example.
However, along with Clarke, Spurs have made a number of purchases from overseas this season including Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes. At a ratio of four overseas signings to one from the Championship, it’s clear that promotion offers the best chance of landing those high Premier League wages.